Ryan Porteous pays tribute to Ron Gordon and speaks on Hibs return and Watford switch
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The Watford defender was on media duties ahead of Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifying opener against Cyprus and said the executive chairman, who took the reins at Easter Road in the summer of 2019, worked hard to ensure the young centre-back got a transfer that benefited both club and player.
“Ron was always very honest with me. When I told him I wanted to move he didn’t stand in my way. He found a way to make it work for both myself and the club,” he said, as reported by The Scotsman.
Porteous was unaware of the illness for which Gordon spent the best part of 12 months receiving treatment, but echoed his former colleagues when paying tribute to a man for whom he had a lot of time.
“I didn’t know he was ill, I only found out when Hibs announced it. We knew he hadn’t been to the games, but we didn’t realise why. It came as a shock to us all. It was devastating because it all happened so suddenly. I have a lot to thank him for. He was a good man who did a lot for the club. He was someone who was so positive around the club.
“He took the time to phone you and message you; after games he would check to see how you were, if you had any thoughts on how to make the club better. It’s horrible because he was a really good man and he did a lot for me. It’s a mark of the man that he took time with his players. Some of the decisions didn’t work out but I think you can see he always wanted the best for the club. He tried to make it work and I think now you are seeing progress in the club and in the team."
Porteous is settling in well at Vicarage Road – one goal and two bookings in nine games, and just two defeats – and feels that while it’s a step up, it hasn’t taken him by surprise.
“All-in-all I feel as though I’ve settled in well and while I feel it’s a step up, it’s not a step up to a degree where I felt shocked. I think I have settled in well. I’m playing alongside top centre-halves and that has helped. I think I’m coming back into the Scotland squad as a better player. I feel as though I have improved. You never want to get ahead of yourself but I am really enjoying my football again.”
Porteous is also relishing the opportunity to come and watch Hibs as a fan again. He is keeping an eye on their progress and pleased to see a turnaround in form.
“It’s taken time, but having stuck with the manager they are benefiting. Hopefully they can push for third. I’m looking forward to getting back to a game as a fan, because I missed out on that for years. I’ve been looking at the schedule to see if there is a Hearts or Rangers away that I can get to – although I might need to go in a balaclava.”